Advent 2022: 02. Beeminding Gratitude

One of my most useful goals from a mental health perspective is my Gratitude goal. It encourages me to write a few things that I feel grateful for on most days of the week. It helps me notice the parts of life that are truly worthwhile: things that friends do for me, a glimpse of a bird or a flower, a reminder of how great it is to have running water or regular city-wide trash collection!

It’s an easy goal to keep up with, especially if you start with a low rate if you’re not sure how well it will work for you or if you’re in a place in your life where you may not often be able to find things to be grateful for.

I have mine set up as a Do More goal with a rate of 6 datapoints per week, and I write each day’s items in the Gratitude journaling together forum thread that shanaqui started more than two years ago. You would be very welcome to join us there if you wanted to! Post as often or as little as you like. I usually post three items a day, but on my bad days when I can only think of one or two, that’s all I do, and I still count it as a full datapoint.

There are other ways of beeminding this of course:

  • A Do More goal with a rate of, for example, 3 per day, and you write each item in each datapoint comment. I used to do this years ago and it was nice to have them all recorded there.
  • A goal to encourage you to use a self-care app that includes gratitude exercises. The delightful Kinder World is one and it has a slow-paced plant growing mechanism to reward you for doing self care (Android and iOS).
  • A URLminder integration goal to track the word count in any plain-text online link. A rate of maybe 3 to 50 words per day might work, depending on how much you wanted to write for each item.
  • A timed goal (e.g., using the Beeminder Android app’s timer, or a Toggl integration goal) to encourage you to sit quietly and think about positive things for a couple of minutes a day.
  • A Do More goal to write in a paper journal, perhaps with an artistic flair. There are some beautiful examples in this DuckDuckGo image search.

Do you have other ideas for how to beemind gratitude? Or a favourite app or method for recording the things you are grateful for? Or a pretty journal page that you’d like to share a photo of? Post a comment here!

One thing to consider is that your gratitude items don’t have to be external. They can be things about yourself that you appreciate. My CBT therapist taught me to think of three items every day: one about myself and two about other things. The self-gratitude was very hard at first but he pointed out that there were already good things that I knew about myself: I was making myself better by seeking therapy - that’s one! I showered on most days of the week - that’s a good thing! I did not drop litter in the street! If you’re new to appreciating yourself, look for the tiny things and be grateful for them, even if you think they are nearly inconsequential. Practicing that every day makes it easier.

I’ve fallen out of the habit of doing that but I think I’ve just inspired myself to restart it. :slight_smile: I typically haven’t written self-gratitude items in the forum thread I linked to above because it would feel weird, but I don’t know. Maybe I should. If you would like to, I would encourage you to start!

This was the second post in my series of “Advent Calendar” posts. If you enjoyed the first post about Setting Breaks, check back there to see the comments - @nkmunjal and @rperce have posted some handy bookmarklets for the Breaks page!


Lol… I relate to this gratitude item way too much. Well, maybe not enough… Kind of both, I guess?

Thanks for your advent calendar, it inspires me much :muscle:


I sure am grateful for these brilliant Advent posts!

Here are some more links:


You inspired me to (re)start my gratitude journalling, and to use the shared forum thread! Not sure I’m quite brave enough for this, but that’s kinda the point of trying, isn’t it? :slight_smile:


re-reading all these advent calendar posts very very slowly. i love the idea of “one item about myself and two about other things”! i’ve had a habitica daily for months now to at least think of three gratitudes at the end of the day; sometimes i write one up on a little piece of paper that and put it in a box. i’ve actually been meaning to decide what to do with all the ones i wrote 2022, and where to put them now—i kind of want this year’s gratitudes to go in a new box. (or in the same box, actually, but then i have to move the ones from last year.)

i think i’ll try the 1+2 approach for a bit. it does definitely seem weird/difficult, but i will probably find enough things in the beginning. (i recently started therapy again as well, and i also shower regularly, so there we go! two days of self-gratitudes up my sleeve already :slight_smile:

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It looks like this one is hard for us beeminder users, haha.
Congrats on getting back on track!

I like your idea of putting gratitude items on a box a lot.
I would love to be able to have physical notes where I say nice things about me and my life.
Do you read them at the end of the year or have some ritual?
I think one could also physically pin them to the walls of their room, but that might be a bit creepy for visitors.

Gratitude recipe:

  • 1 nice thing about self (put in a box)
  • 1 nice thing about normal life events that are intently simple and not scary - like eating tasty pizza (put on wall)
  • 1 nice thing about other stuff (put on Beeminder blog)
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It looks like this one is hard for us beeminder users, haha.
Congrats on getting back on track!

oh, i actually don’t beemind showers currently XD ever since i have to go to work every workday it’s kind of a no-brainer, since i sweat a lot and don’t want to be gross. my bigger problem is leaving the bed in the morning and getting in the shower on time and not spending five hours (exaggeration) between shower and going-to-work on the couch trying to wake up / doing nothing XD

Do you read them at the end of the year or have some ritual?

not yet, since i only started doing it at the beginning of last year! but yes, i do plan to go through them all, and to write the year on all of them. (i already put the dates, like “may 5th”, but i figured i can go through them all by the end of the year and write “2022” on all of them when i relocate them to the new box, so that the current box can hold the 2023 gratitudes, and so forth.) it’s really heartwarming reading through some of them (i just browsed them a bit).
i had briefly considered making yet another instagram account where i would irregularly post random past gratitudes, like “173 days ago i was grateful for a great evening i spent with my friends”, but i don’t really use instagram currently, so i would probably abandon the idea very fast.
i do, however, need to create a portfolio of a handful of artsy things for a course application until summer, and i’ve been thinking about maybe making a collage of my gratitudes, or something other creative with them; so we’ll see!

your recipe sounds good! i bet it would be very satisfying to look back at a year and a box full of self-gratitudes! :D good luck with that!